[Competition] Murder at the Lock and Key

Is Brea
Solyiat
Kiast System

Constable Yih took off his hat and spat into the dirt at his feet, then wiped away the sweat from his brow. Why’d I have to come in early today? It was a question that had been looping in his brain for hours. Truthfully it was a distraction. Kept his eyes off the growing crowd of bodies slammed against the wall ten meters away, screaming and kicking and throwing whatever they could find. He had scene riots in his career, sure, but this was something else. Something in the air was different. Any good Ryn could smell it, sure, but Yih could feel it.

Most of the other Constables were spread out in between the outer wall and the main building. But Yih was the first one in to the station, so he was the assigned Investigator. The loop repeated as he turned his gaze into the nearby doorway. A young medical examiner fumbled with his equipment inside, likely milking the cool air while it lasted. Yih brushed his hair and felt the dampness, suddenly aware of the heat around him. He’d be inside soon enough, and the thought gave him a chill.

Normally, getting assigned an overnight murder is just a dead end. By the time a Constable gets to a crime scene in Is Brea, a year might as well have passed. You chase leads for a few hours and then you go back to the station and file some paperwork. Not this time. A murder at the Lock and Key was a surprise in itself. Revered for hosting the systems most distinguished guests for over 100 years—despite numerous political ‘renovations’—safely and quietly. It boasts some of the most advanced security on the planet, and its perimeter defenses could easily silence this crowd. That would be a hell of a political incident that nobody wants to deal with. These people are angry, but they’re not wrong.

Lady Eliza Kellis was one of the most well-liked people in the system, Sephi or not, so it was a surprise to everyone when she was murdered. Her rank in the noble houses, coupled with her love from the common folk, is a ticking time bomb. He sniffed at the air, smoke wafting past. Not good.

“Constable!” A different, older medical examiner called from inside. Yih took one last glimpse at the crowd and stepped through the doorway. Immediately the temperature dropped and the Ryn felt a chill. Maybe it wasn’t just the temperature.

“So what have we got, Henri?” Yih inquired. Henri pulled out a datapad from his case and handed to him.

“Multiple stab wounds in her abdomen, consistent with a knife. You’ll see here-” Henri pointed to her hands. “She definitely struggled. No skin cells, but some sort of clothing material. We’re sending it back for testing.”

Yih looked over the report with a grimace. He had never met Lady Eliza, but he had seen her in the news a hundred times. She was so beautiful, always, and she still was. Hauntingly maybe, but still beautiful. She was dressed in her morning robes, hair down. No bruising on her face or around her neck, but her lip had a cut.

“What was that from?” Henri glanced over.

“Not sure, seems like it happened prior to her death. Will know more after the autopsy.” Yih nodded and put the datapad away. Henri loaded up the last of his equipment and headed out the door, bringing with him the roar of the crowd. The Constable’s commlink buzzed and the deep voice of his captain cut through the noise.

“Yih. Listen, we both know that this is going to become more than a murder, whether that’s what happened or not. This is a political incident. I have requested the assistance of a member of Odan-Urr for this investigation.” Yih began to reply, but the line disconnected. He sighed and shook his head. It’s probably for the best. This is above my paygrade. The datapad beeped and revealed a set of coordinates.

“Guess that’s where I’ll find my assistant,” the Ryn chuckled to himself as he marched off towards his destination.

Suspect Dossiers

Name: Lavi Kellis
Race: Human
Age: 57
Association with Deceased: Estranged Husband
Alibi: Off Planet (Does not rule out a third party’s involvement)
General Knowledge:
Lavi Kellis is the CEO and President of Kellis Engineering, one of the most prominent corporations within the Kiast System. His rise to fame is well documented. From a young age he carried out a cutthroat business plan eliminating all his competition, one by one. Though his wealth continued to increase, his relationship with his young wife, Lady Eliza, strained. Kellis often did business with criminals, but not until her home city was attacked by the Collective using weapons sold by her husbands’ company did she truly realize the scope. Shortly after she took up residence in the Lock and Key, cutting off much communication with her husband and becoming an outspoken activist against Kellis Engineering. Their marital dispute has been the talk of the common folk.

Name: Tradock
Race: Sephi
Age: 24
Association with Deceased: Suspected Affair
Alibi: Working Kitchen Shift (Kitchen Manager and Hotel Manager confirm)
General Knowledge:
Tradock was a simple housekeeper before Lady Eliza arrived at the Lock and Key. He worked the minimal amount necessary and stayed as far away from work when he wasn’t needed. Once Mrs. Kellis entered his life, his drive seemed to increase ten fold. Within the first three weeks of Lady Eliza’s stay, Tradock worked more shifts than he had in the two months prior. Interior cameras show him sticking around the property after his shifts ended as well as arriving early every morning. Lady Eliza put in a request with the hotel Manager shortly after, assigning Tradock as her personal housekeeper. He had been so, almost exclusively, for the four months leading up to Lady Eliza’s murder.

Name: Stephon Dufew
Race: Human
Age: 36
Association with Deceased: Former employee of Husband
Alibi: None
General Knowledge: Stephon Dufew was an employee at Kellis Engineering for almost ten years. He moved swiftly through the ranks during his first five, but remained a project manager until he resigned forcefully from the company. Though Dufew claims to hold no grudge, he has not held a steady job in the year since, now working as a freelance electrician. His wife divorced him after three months, and he lost his home one month later. On hiring him, the hotel Manager said: “ His prices were well over a third cheaper then the competition. Could not turn him down. Not sure how he affords the prices so low, but that’s not my concern!”